What to drink this week
Sweet wines aren’t especially fashionable (Sauternes has had some wonderful years in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016, but you hear less about the great sweet whites of Bordeaux than the red crus classés) and, as a result, they are, quite frankly, underpriced. New Year is surely the time to buck this trend; if you’re opening some rather good Port on the day itself, there are other occasions during the holiday season on which various festive puddings need to be accompanied by something equally sweet, but not quite so heroically powerful.
Make it your New Year’s resolution to embrace these sweet treats, encourages Harry Eyres
Why you should be drinking them
‘Sweet’ is a dull and inadequate word to describe the wonderful variety of pudding wines. These are made from all kinds of different grapes, in sometimes bizarre ways, in countries all around the world.
What to drink
Sauternes is the most famous of sweet whites and deservedly so: the sheer sensuous opulence of the best wines takes some beating. Berry Bros & Rudd Sauternes 2012 by Château Doisy-védrines (below, £12.75 per half-bottle; www. bbr.com) has great botrytised richness on the nose and palate—super stuff from a top property. Worlds apart in grape (Chenin as opposed to Sauvignon/sémillon), method (drying on mats, not botrytis) and country is Mullineux Straw Wine from Swartland, South Africa (£27.95 per half-bottle; www.bbr.com). This is amazingly complex, long and refreshing as well as intensely sweet. Finally, for a real rarity, try Kyperounda, Commandaria from Cyprus (£17.95 per 50cl; www.bbr. com): it tastes a little bit like sweet oloroso sherry, but with more fruit. Delicious.